Recently, there has been a tendency for scientific studies to deal with natural materials as fillers and reinforcement for polymer composites, which are used in many different applications due to their environmentally friendly properties when compared to synthetic materials. The current study aims to preserve the environment by dealing with natural materials and their influence on the mechanical properties and water absorption property of the polymer composites. In this study, epoxy composites were produced from local natural sourced non-hazardous raw natural materials using grey relational analysis (GRG). The materials used for fabrication include micro-filler of pollen palm 50 μm, seashell 75 μm and epoxy resin. Nine different composites were prepared using pollen palm and seashell as reinforcement material by varying the wt % of the micro-filler. Rule of the mixture was used for formulation and wt % of (0.5, 1 and 1.5) % reinforcement and 99.5, 99 and 98.5 % epoxy (binder) were used for composites. Grey relational analysis was conducted in order to scale the multi-response performance to a single response. The results indicate that optimum performance can be achieved with the addition of 1.5 wt % micro-filler of seashell, which achieved the first rank, while the second rank achieved by 0.5 wt % micro-filler of palm pollen and seashell when compared to other composites. The addition of micro-fillers has improved greatly the mechanical properties of epoxy composites. The loading of micro-fillers has influenced the water absorption property of composites based epoxy in ascending order
AbstractThis work investigated the impact that the processing of hemp (C. sativa L.) fibre has on the mechanical properties of unidirectional fibre-reinforced epoxy resin composites loaded in axial tension, and particleboard reinforced with aligned fibre bundles applied to one surface of the panel. For this purpose, mechanically processed (decorticated) and un-processed hemp fibre bundles, obtained from retted and un-retted hemp stems, were utilised. The results clearly show the impact of fibre reinforcement in both materials. Epoxy composites reinforced with processed hemp exhibited 3.3 times greater tensile strength when compared to the un-reinforced polymer, while for the particleboards, the bending strength obtained in those reinforced with processed hemp was 1.7 times greater than the un-reinforced particleboards. Moreover, whether the fibre bundles were processed or un-processed also affected the mechanical performance, especially in the epoxy composites. For example, the un-processed fibre-reinforced epoxy composites exhibited 49% greater work of fracture than the composites reinforced with processed hemp. In the wood-based particleboards, however, the difference was not significant. Additionally, observations of the fracture zone of the specimens showed different failure characteristics depending on whether the composites were reinforced with processed or un-processed hemp. Both epoxy composites and wood-based particleboards reinforced with un-processed hemp exhibited fibre reinforcement apparently able to retain structural integrity after the composite’s failure. On the other hand, when processed hemp was used as reinforcement, fibre bundles showed a clear cut across the specimen, with the fibre-reinforcement mainly failing at the composite's fracture zone.